A shooter’s view of Alaska.

That’s “shooter” as in photographer, not as in hunter.

This week’s giveaway “Snap Decisions: My 30 Years as an Alaska News Photographer,” is more than just the moose-and-goose-in-the-spruce school of photography.

I do have to say, however, that the moose photo to the left is one of my favorite images ever published in the Anchorage Daily News.

This is no pretty coffee-table book focusing only on scenic vistas and awesome animals. In photographing the news, my former colleague Jim Lavrakas covered some pretty grim stuff: crime, alcoholism and poverty. It’s strong work.

But other pages are breathtaking, the kinds of things that make you want to visit the Last Frontier. The Iditarod photos in particular are wonderful.

Jim’s most famous picture came about quite by accident. It seems some people were putting northern pike into Anchorage waterways, possibly to have themselves some pike fishing later on. Trouble was, the pike were wreaking havoc with the trout-stocking program.

A photo opp in a fish tank (“See how fast a single pike can gobble down a bunch of baby trout!”) resulted in an amazing shot: a pike so stuffed to the gills, so to speak, that it couldn’t quite swallow the last bite:

Ever feel like that little fish? I have.

“Snap Decisions” is signed by the author, and it would make a great holiday gift. Or keep it yourself and see what a professional shooter can do with a camera and a fish.

Speaking of fish: Jim has retired and now runs Skookum Charters in Homer, Alaska. If catching a barn-door halibut or just taking an unforgettable boat tour is on your bucket list, save your frequent-flier miles and give him a call. (Note: I’m not getting paid to say that. I’m just supporting the local economy.)

To enter:

If you do any (or all!) of these things, please leave separate, additional comments to get credit for each entry.

The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time on Tuesday, Nov. 27. If I don’t hear back from the winner by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, I’ll have the random number generator select a new winner.

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  1. I’m here in Soldotna and it’s a beautiful night. Chilly outside but warm here next to the woodstove. Jim’s book would be perfect to look at while sipping a hot buttered rum. Fingers crossed! 🙂

  2. Thanks Donna! Great pics!

  3. I’ve yet to experience Alaska. Sounds like a great book to read here in sunny AZ!

  4. Facebook too.

  5. That looks like a cool book! I would love to win that. Thanks for the giveaway

  6. Already following you too

  7. What an amazing photo of the fish…the chances of catching that shot…impossible to calculate. Would love the book. Hope all is well in “your new/old home” and you had a good holiday….

  8. I look forward to your emails.

  9. I would love to own this fascinating book, as a visitor to, and lover of, Alaska, and an aspiring photographer!

  10. A trip to Alaska has long been on my bucket list, thanks for sharing a couple pics!

  11. lostAnnfound

    I remember when I first saw that fish picture, it was so cool! Talk about being in the right place at the right time with the camera!! This would be a great Christmas for younger daughter, who is a budding photographer.

  12. lostAnnfound

    I follow you via RSS

  13. Looks like a great book for our Alaska niece and nephew…

  14. yes, I subscribe to your blog via e-mail.

  15. I would like the book! But I am on a budget plan that I cannot buy anything! I follow you here and read Frugal Cool as well!

  16. Those pics are amazing! Would love to see more. The moose looks so curious!

  17. I follow via email

  18. I follow you on fb and twitter as KH Bride and @KHBride

  19. I would love to win this for my best friend who lived in Alaska for several years!

  20. I follow you on RSS

  21. I like you on Facebook

  22. Looks like a great book. would love to win it.

  23. Oh, and I also follow you on Facebook. 😉

  24. I would enjoy this book!

  25. Love the pic of the fish inside a fish!

  26. Tracy Stone

    Sounds like a book that would be nice to look at as well as give a different perspective.

  27. Tracy Stone

    I subscribe by e-mail

  28. Tracy Stone

    I follow you on facebook!

  29. I do so love getting your blog via email!

  30. maryegankirk

    the photos sound cool – no pun intended!

  31. Cool picture of the moose! Keep up the great work!

  32. What awesome photos. Great giveaway.

  33. I subscribe via RSS.

  34. I subscribe via email.

  35. And I follow you on Twitter.

  36. And Facebook. And MSN, too, does that count? 🙂

  37. I know a couple of artists who would enjoy this as a gift!

  38. Alaska is slowly inching its way onto my bucket list.

  39. I would like to enter this drawing! Thanks!

    The poor little trout looks a little surprised, doesn’t he?